Lovelight -> NFA -> Lovelight, Jam -> The Main Ten -> Jam -> Dark Star Jam -> Other One Jam -> Jam
This is a very strange show. The start of Lovelight is clipped, with the recording improving from what is a ragged condition at first. The sound system has technical difficulties, with an intermittent buzz during portions of Lovelight from a bad electrical connection. There is some minor static at 9:30 of the first track. The vocals are very low in the mix, and difficulties with the sound system might explain a lack of singing during the second set, though the jams are very inspired. The recording includes a group chant between sets, which may include members of the band, crowd, a woman who sounds like Grace Slick, a child, an imposter-drummer, security etc.
April 13, 2015 Subject:
Wow! Very weird show indeed, but the musical parts are incredible. This is probably a joint Dead/QMS show (aka the Quick and the Dead): both Gary Duncan AND John Cipollina are playing in the post-chant set: Cips is recognizable instantly by his unique trembling right hand vibrato style, and Duncan is also identifiable to Quicksilver fans such as myself. That second bass player is not Jack Casady, and is most likely David Freiburg...whose high tenor voice I'm pretty sure I can hear during the chant. It's interesting to me how comparatively huge and powerful Garcia's rig was at this point: Duncan and Cips had great amps (Cips' was, in particular, a monster of crazy innovative homemade engineering), but when Garcia takes the stage here they are both instantly dominated by the Owsley Stanley-modded Fender Twin Reverb in both volume and tone and the rewound Gibson Les Paul P90s. No band that small has ever sported a guitar-amp combo that powerful and clean with just the right amount of headroom for any guitarist, before or since! And it wouldn't have worked for anybody but Garcia. Getting a thick, smooth scream like that out of a Twin Reverb is basically impossible, generally speaking; you've got to have extremely strong, sensitive fingers and an absolutely insane mad scientist of a modification engineer. Garcia was a very fortunate man for a while.
November 4, 2014 Subject:
The Celestial Synapse 2.19.1969 - I was there
The invitation is only loosely remembered and went something like this:: Hear Ye, Hear Ye, the Sons of Harbinger present The Celestial Synapse, February 19, 1969, The Grateful Dead, invitation only, free, The Carousel Ballroom.
Words can't convey what happened at The Celestial Synapse. Between the Grateful Dead sets, Steve Gaskin blew his counch shell and the 3,000-4,000 hippies, most stoned on acid, began chanting 'aum' and 'we are all one'. Literally and figuratively, that was the high point of the evening; and, for me, the era itself.
One observer (who was straight) later said 'it was the most pagan thing she had ever seen'. For me, the event was holy. It all depended on where your head is at. It still does.
I never expected to hear again what happened that night. But tonight when I happened onto this recording I realized, again, the miracle that IT IS.
We are all ONE
August 13, 2014 Subject:
Does anyone else think Hunter Thompson may be speaking around 16 minutes in on the 'Chanting' track?
February 12, 2013 Subject:
THIS is one of those shows you feel privileged to be able to hear, like so many "lost" shows you read about and drool (Mickey's first show, for instance), but know in your heart that you'll never get to hear it. And even this one comes to us via a mislabeling that doesn't seem to have kept anyone from finding it, but I think the evidence is pretty clear even by simply listening to the show this is absolutely '69 Dead.
Don't be put off by the sound problems Lovelight goes through initially - the sound eventually gets all its bugs out - while it's hardly crystal-clear, it will certainly do. A lot through this early part of the set Mickey and Billy's percussion simply takes over, and the jam drifts and wafts and fades 'on' and 'off' at almost sheer random intervals. And how about that Pigpen singing a very, VERY hard-driven Not Fade Away on his own!
All that "celestial synapse"-Jam stuff in the middle, the chanting and whatnot, is interesting, certainly different, but ultimately kind of hippie-ridiculous. If you want to really hear how audience participation can enhance and actually uplift the Dead's sound, check out Mike Martin's AUD of 10/22/78, during the Ollin Arageed - *that*, my friends, is transcendence in music - not all this pseudo-Indian, post-acid-test, we're-so-enlightened-whatchamacallit. The kids that get a hold of the microphone during the droning pretty much sum it up with that "Scooby-Doo dum dum" :) Got to hand it to those little guys; they seem like the most intelligent beings in the room for a while there....
The goods come in spades when the boys come back out a solid 45-50 minutes of pure jam - that Other One stuff during the final ten-fifteen minutes is sheer, shredding madness! There is another guitarist onstage - Jorma, Duncan, someone or other...awesome stuff, so unique you can't possibly pass this up!
August 30, 2012 Subject:
This show is definitely out there. The chanting is some of the weirdest shit you'll ever hear and literally made me laugh out loud at times. I didn't think Lovelight was anything special. But its worth it to stick around for the second set jams; the Main Ten>>Other One jam portion is inspired, esp. The Other One which has some pretty great playing and one of the wildest conclusions I've heard with Jerry really shredding it home...nice!
October 8, 2011 Subject:
I can't vouch for the presence of Jack, or Jorma...but...John Cipollina is, without a doubt, one of the players at this gig...I died and went to heaven...and I'll just reiterate what everyone else has written about this jam...un f@#king believable...HUGE...seeds of stuff that wouldn't find birth til later down the road...
September 12, 2011 Subject:
a gem. This whole set cooks.
December 15, 2010 Subject:
The following info was taken from a comment on setlists.net for 2/19/29 Fillmore West:
THE GRATEFUL DEAD
Celestial Synapse 1969 [no label, 2CD]
Live at Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA, February 19, 1969. Good to very good soundboard.
Though this show has circulated as June 19, 1968 at the Carousel, as Tom Shyman explained when he shared the lossless
tracks on the Dime site, this is actually the Celestial Synapse at the Fillmore West on February 19, 1969. The following are
notes provided by Shyman:
From Mike Dolgushkin:
The show that circulates as 6/19/68 is misdated. It’s actually 2/19/69 - the Celestial Synapse at the Fillmore West.
I listened to it not long ago and thought “no way this is June of ‘68.” It sounded real close in time to the Live Dead stuff, and
you can hear TC [keyboardist Tom Constanten] poking out of the murk from time to time. Plus, it includes both Not Fade
Away and The Main Ten, which started appearing on a more/less regular basis in April of ‘69.
What clinched the date was reading the Rolling Stone review of the Celestial Synapse in the booklet that came with the
Fillmore box set. It describes everybody in the Fillmore getting naked and crazy at about two in the morning, among them
Don McCoy from Olompali, who took the stage and started rapping. Bill Graham had to keep the security people from
pulling him off. Anyway, on this tape, after Lovelight, you hear a bunch of whooping and hollering, after which someone
gets on stage and announces “Hi, my name’s Don McCoy.” Apparently the date that’s written on the vault copy is hard to
read; Dick originally thought it said 8/29/68. Another mystery solved. Tell your friends!”
It then goes on to list the exact notes which are written at the bottom of this page.
April 11, 2010 Subject:
Not the first NFA
Rare Cuts and Oddities has it from 1966.
April 1, 2009 Subject:
FIRST Not Fade Away!!! Last “Carousel”
A rift in time: Not Fade Away and the Playin’ in the Band riff (in the Ten), in the middle of 1968! A show with a lot of historical interest. It’s like a day off from the usual stuff that band was playing at the time.
This is the first Not Fade Away, and is the only NFA of 1968. They didn’t play it again until December ’69.
The 20-minute Lovelight is looong. There’s a lot of it is vamping, not as much jamming.
The 20-minute chanting is reminiscent of the acid trips of 1965-66 (some of them are here at Archive.org). It does sound like Grace Slick singing 7 minutes into it. And it sounds like Bill Graham giving orders just before 21 minutes, trying to get the show started again.
The jam after the Main Ten isn’t exactly solid gold. It has moments of brilliance and other times where it isn’t going anywhere.
The Other One jam is the best jamming of the show. Jerry and Phil are dancing around each other for most of it, a real duet, driving and powerful. (The organ is barely audible, unfortunately). This was much longer than the Other Ones they had been playing at the time. (Possibly the first time without Cryptical Envelopment?)
Also of historical interest is that this is the last Dead show at the Carousel Ballroom before Bill Graham renamed it Fillmore West. All shows at this venue after this are listed as Fillmore West. I wonder if this was some sort of special event to mark the beginning of Bill Graham’s new venture.
(Graham had moved out of the original Fillmore Auditorium on Geary Blvd. at this time. The original Fillmore Auditorium was reopened in the ‘90’s. The Carousel Ballroom/Fillmore West is now a Honda dealership.)
January 21, 2009 Subject:
who else is playing
pandagos is right -- phil lesh & jack casady both play bass throughout the concluding 50 mnutes of jamming.
Besides Bobby it sounds like there's a 3rd guitarist on & off, earlier in these jams. cipollina sounds likeliest. the scraps of electric organ & congas are probably pigpen.
i hear lots of dark star-like jamming but no statement of dark star. they're not in the right key, either.
hot hot jams for sure
February 10, 2008 Subject:
who else is playing?
Great show, but who are the other musicians on disc 2 - after the chanting. There's certainly another lead guitarist - Kaukonen? Duncan (a lot of the first long jam has overtones - or undertones of QMS, but I don't think it's Cipollina)? Santana? and I think Casady is playing bass for much of the disc.
October 15, 2007 Subject:
right after the drum jam in Lovelight you can hear somebody (Phil?) yell "HEY PIGPEN, WHERE ARE YA? GET THE FUCK OVER HERE!!!"
And of course, like everyone else here has mentioned, the jamming is exceptional. It's almost as if the vocals/P.A. cut out or weren't working properly so they just said 'fuck it' and went off
When in doubt...Om the gremlins out! This show as Arbuthnot has pointed out has been pretty well reviewed. It does have a lot of high & happy cosmic energy... when the family was small, tight and all were invited and encouraged to participate! Now, back to the tunes... Main Ten, gotta love it!!! You're high that's all... An 11 rating for historic value, a 12 for the music, and 111 for fun!
September 25, 2006 Subject:
Don't remember much of it
I'm pretty sure I was at this show! My (then) girlfriend's father owned a healthfood store in SF and he would occasionally get free tix to Carousel shows. And he gave us 2 to a Dead show at the Carousel and I'm pretty sure this was it..it definitely was at the Carousel and it was definitely late spring/early summer. I just don't remember much about it :-(
How's that for a review?
September 24, 2006 Subject:
a blaze of jamming
The reviews below have said it all and better than i can. This show, particularly the latter portion, is a jam lovers delight. TOO Jam is just too cool, and i can't stop listening to it. I would normally give a show with this sound quality a 3 or 4, but due to the sheer genius of sounds, and the shows historical documentation of what the Dead were all about at this point in their remarkable career, i must give it a five. Enjoy this one!
September 1, 2006 Subject:
yes... and dank`s for dis grateful day. it`s my year and day of birth!!
July 9, 2006 Subject:
Coming from the mouth of a young deadhead, this is truly a treat! The recording isn't the best but the soul and passion obviously shines through this show. You can tell the guys are just having a great time jammin out. A must listen. It's cool to hear a show from 68 because they are so young but yet they tear it up. Keep on truckin on
February 14, 2006 Subject:
It's unfortunate that there is such a big gap in the performances from 68' that aren't available.
I was on this deadlists thing and there were alot of outdoor stuff that I guess is unaudible or it just dosen't exist on a recording or whatever.
It's a shame.
Not Fade Away, how many times did you hear that from 68'.
September 30, 2005 Subject:
they drew open the curtains
the crowd chant into the entire second set of far out jams is well worth the listen. The 2nd set seems to be the furthest out the band has gone in a live setting (in terms of pure shoestring improv) from 65 till this point in 1968 in their career(from chronological shows on the archive). Definitelty a stand out for marking things to come. Where 2/14/68 shows how hot they are at that moment, this shows how hot they are going to be in the future..
September 17, 2005 Subject:
Jazz is Dead
The jam after Ten utilizes maj.7 chords subsequently heard in countless "jazzier" improvisations(i.e. 25Oct69 Star, 2Nov69 Star, 2May70 Dancing, 31Oct71 Star and, brillantly 26June74 out of Let It Grow). This show along with 16Dec68, 28Aug69, 4Feb70(intriguing jam with Santana)and, 21Aug71 find Garcia and Co. shining outside of their usual modus.
February 16, 2005 Subject:
Freaking Phantastic (required listening I mean it - you dont pass go without this)
I connected with this show completely - Alot of shows especially the post '86 era people will rave abt and I never understand the hoopla, for me it is very clear they are just going through the motions with a few licks here and there to make it sound distinctive.
This show on the other hand is brimming with so much whacked out positivity and offbeat wierdness and spacey electric vibes it is impossible to prevent it from connecting directly with your cosmic taproot. This is what it's all about and personally I can overlook the crap sound for this - When you are listening to the Main Ten close your eyes and suck up the sounds and breath in the Mexican dope and that electric sweat you get when you are dosed, smell the pichouli and clove cigarettes - It's all here. Look up and see the gelatin prints above the stage swirling with different colors. If you listen closely all of this will come to you as it did me on the backs of your eye lids.
My favorite line of the whole chant is someone saying to another guy 'no bro thats no you thats the drugs'. Questions?
January 3, 2005 Subject:
Great show, bad SBD.
This show, like 6/14/68, is extremely weird. Sandwiched between a LOOONG Lovelight is the first NFA, then a 25-minute long "Chant" from the crowd...it's trippy and really weird, and is not really worth repeated listens. The Main Ten and Other One jams are interesting and very well played.
Unfortunately, the SBD quality of this show is very lackluster. It's not as bad as 2/2/69 to be sure, but that hum from the board due to a bad electrical connection during Lovelight and the (first ever) NFA is very annoying. But it's a very interesting show, no doubt about that. Because of this factor, it's worth the download. But get the Lossless version.
November 17, 2004 Subject:
during lovelight/nfa, you'll be wishing the sound quality was a little better, especially since it's such an interesting combo & its not your typical nfa...but quality is more tolerable & its really not such a big deal especially when you're so focused (or zoned out) on the incredible jam>main 10>jam>other 1 jam...this is what makes the Dead the Dead...unique & priceless jam...you definitely want to check this out...I'm not kidding!
October 26, 2004 Subject:
Wear your Chicken Shoes and your meat helmet
From a historical standpoint, this is one of the most interesting shows ever, ever, EVER! Ignore the horrid sound quality. Listen, listen, listen to the intense jamming after the chanting. There are so many themes, and styles, located in this 30 or so minute segment that would not reapear for years to come. I've been downloading all of the pre 69 stuff, and there really is nothing comparable to the jamming in this show. I would consider this show to be foundational, in that so many themes years down the road would spring from this single jam. Give me some of that kool-aid, now, and Les Claypool rules the planet in 2004.
September 1, 2004 Subject:
This is what the Dead are about as people... Plausible goofiness.
The Chant is really a meditation with a little kid that's singing that "scooby-dooby" thing with it.
Than you hear a tripped out "hippie" get up at the mic. and try to sing Lovelight (a little)...than you hear him be (reluctantly) escorted off.
Bill Graham's voice is also on the stage this night.
Somethin' tells me the Kool-aid was ripe that night.
August 16, 2004 Subject:
"The Main Ten" jam is apparently built around a seed riff that eventually became the instrumental break to "Playing in the Band."
June 24, 2004 Subject:
holy OTHER ONE batman!!!!!!
my goodness. i don't know what was in the kool-aid this night . . . perhaps the gears were oiled with stp?
the main ten->jam is a monster, and the other one jam is down right prehistoric beast. i've heard some creshendo endings with everyone falling on the one, but this takes the cake for that element.
it's a must read. only four stars for partial material.
June 24, 2004 Subject:
very unique show, considering there is the 20 minutes of "chanting" (between what seems to be the band and members of the crowd) as well as some very intense jamming...
the recording is certainly not perfect, and the vocals are very low...however the second disc SHOULD be part of your collection, esp. the jam following the Main Ten!